Tag: Memoir

A Socialite Turned War Correspondent

 

In 1935 socialite Virginia Coles was a society-girl columnist for toney magazines like Harper’s Bazzar, writing about fashion and gossip. She traveled the world writing light pieces about the places visited. Then in Italy she encountered Mussolini and his fascists and her career took a different turn. She became a war correspondent.

“Looking for Trouble: The Classic Memoir of a Trailblazing War Correspondent,” by Virginia Cowles tells that story. It is her memoirs during the period 1936 through 1941, collected from the columns she wrote for various US magazines over that period.

During that period she was everywhere. She covered the Spanish Civil War, her first attempt at being a war correspondent. She was the only correspondent to report from both sides of the conflict, visiting both Republican and Nationalist Spain during the struggle.  It proved addictive. From there she went on to cover events in Europe as the continent slid into World War II.

A Pilot’s View of the Battle of Britain

 

Ian Richard Gleed was one of Churchill’s few, the RAF fighter pilots who fought the Battle of Britain and defeated the Luftwaffe. He put his experiences down on paper, detailing his experiences during the Battle of France, The Battle of Britain, and the 1941 nighttime Blitz.

“Arise to Conquer: The ‘Real’ Hurricane Pilot,” edited by Dilip Sakar is a new release of this classic. Sakar adds an extensive introduction, framing this forgotten story for the modern reader. It also contains footnotes that explain Gleed’s slang and technical terms which might baffle today’s readers.

Gleed’s memoirs were originally published in 1942. It was one of the earliest first-person accounts of the battle available to the public. Although fictionalized, it shows what it was like to be a fighter pilot during the opening days of World War 2. You experience Gleed’s triumphs, terrors, and disappointments.

Member Post

 

I just finished reading Justice Thomas’s memoir My Grandfather’s Son because he has been in the news recently and it looks like progressives are going to try to intimidate him for his concurrence to the Dobbs decision (among other reasons). What a great book! The first two chapters are as good a description as can be found […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Not Your Typical Texas Western

 

Sandip Mathur was born in India. He became a doctor there with specialist training in London, England and Houston, Texas. In Houston, he and his wife realized they loved Texas. They wanted to stay. He needed a Permanent Resident Card, the green card permitting an alien to legally remain and work in the United States. To get one he agreed to practice medicine three years in an underserved rural community.

“Cowboys and Indian: A Doctor’s First Year in Texas,” by Sandip V. Mathur, tells the story of his experiences. He, his wife and his two daughters ended up in a small West Texas town, two hours from Abeline, Texas.

The book follows his first year of practice at Hotspur (the fictional name Mathur gives the county where he moved). The experience defined culture shock. The Mathurs had always lived in cities with populations over one million people. Hotspur had less than 10,000 people in a 5000 square mile area. They were Hindi in a deeply Christian town. They were traveled. Most in Hotspur thought Dallas was a long journey.

Life Aboard a North Sea Battlecruiser

 

At the beginning of World War I, John R. Muir was a surgeon in the Royal Navy.  He was also an avid yachtsman.

“Years of Endurance: Life Aboard the Battlecruiser Tiger 1914-16,” by John R. Muir were his memoirs of his service during World War I.  It offers a fascinating look at the life of a Royal Navy surgeon of the period, both ashore and afloat.

The book opens prior to World War I in May 1914. Muir was Senior Medical Officer at Chatham Barracks, responsible for conducting the physicals of men entering the service during mobilization. A preliminary mobilization had been bungled. Muir shows how the lessons learned were incorporated into the actual mobilization a few months later. He recounts his early months of the war ashore before being assigned to the battlecruiser Tiger.

A Memoir of Endurance and Survival

 

In January 1945 Major Donald J. Humphrey commanded a B-29 Superfortress. During a 1900-mile mission from India to bomb Singapore, his bomber was shot down over Malaya. Humphrey and four other members of the crew of Postville Express successfully parachuted out of the dying bomber. The rest of the crew failed to escape.

“8 Miraculous Months in the Malayan Jungle: A WWII Pilot’s True Story of Faith, Courage, and Survival,” edited by Donald J. “DJ” Humphrey II, tell what happened next.

They landed in Malaya, then occupied by the Japanese. Had they been found by the Japanese or the pro-Japanese militia they would likely have been executed or spent the rest of their war in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. The Japanese even offered a $10,000 reward for every Allied airman turned over to them.

Join Jim and Greg as they discuss former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers warning that the Biden COVID relief bill is way too big and could trigger the worst inflation in decades. They also shake their heads as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki suggests the CDC director’s recommendation to open schools is just her personal opinion and they have to wait for the science. And they react to news that Hunter Biden is writing a tell-all book and are pretty sure he plans to skip a lot of stuff.

An Astronaut’s Son Tells His Story

 

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, from 1978 through the end 1985, being in the Space Shuttle program was fun. The Shuttle was new and an adventure.

“The Father, Son, and Holy Shuttle: Growing Up an Astronaut’s Kid in the Glorious 1980s,” by Patrick Mullane, tells that story.

Patrick Mullane was ten when his father, Michael Mullane was selected as an astronaut. Patrick’s family settled Houston’s Brook Forest/Middlebrook subdivision. It proved his first permanent home. Before that, military brat Patrick and his family moved virtually every year as his father went from post to post.

A Navigator’s Account of SAC

 

Between 1946 and 1992 the Strategic Air Command was the United States’s main shield against Soviet aggression. Its bombers flew constantly, fueling aloft to reach any point in the world.

“SAC Time: A Navigator in the Strategic Air Command,” by Thomas E. Alexander, is the memoir of a man who spent three years in the Strategic Air Command and thirteen years in the Air National Guard.

Alexander served the Strategic Air Command as a junior officer.  He was a navigator, not a pilot. Rated a bombardier, navigator, and radar bombardier, he did not crew SAC’s jet glamorous bombers. He navigated KC-97 Stratotankers, a piston-engine aircraft that refueled other aircraft. The book may be the more interesting because of this perspective.

An Atheist’s Come-to-Jesus Moment

 

Pat Santy was a NASA flight surgeon during the early years of the Space Shuttle Program. She is best known for her blog, Dr. Sanity, which ran from 2004 through 2012. For years she was an avowed atheist. “Prodigal Daughter: A Journey with Mary,” by Patricia A. Santy, MD, OP, recounts her return to the Catholic faith.

To outsiders, it seemed Santy had it all. She was a successful doctor, specializing in psychiatry. She became a flight surgeon at Johnson Space Center, on track to become an astronaut. She established a successful psychiatric practice. Later, she became a nationally-known blogger.

Her success seemed more remarkable due to an unpromising start. She was the child of divorce (when it was unusual, especially for Catholics). She financed her own way through college.

Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday. Book Review ‘The Great Escape’ is history’s most famous prison break By MARK […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

My David Hogg Moment

 

It is said when you are young and foolish, you are young and foolish. While a tautology, it is also true.

This is demonstrated by David Hogg, school shooting “survivor” sucking up media time lecturing everyone on violence, while at the same time displaying ignorance of facts, statute law, and Constitutional Law. (I put survivor in quotes because he was in a different building on campus. He had as much chance of actually getting shot as the Broward County sheriff’s deputies cowering outside the building containing the active shooter. Less, actually. There was a diminishingly small possibility the sheriffs might have shot Cruz leaving the building if only out of self-preservation.)

The Other Woman

 
sister-janet

From the Seton Hill Archives

On January 13, 2017, Mr. She, his daughter, his granddaughter, and I will be having lunch with a woman who’s probably had as much influence on the course of Mr. She’s life as anyone he’s ever known.

Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Sunday. When it appears, I post the previous week’s review on Ricochet. Seawriter Book Review Long-forgotten memoir offers fascinating view of life at sea Posted: Saturday, […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.